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Breaking down Kentucky football’s team stats through Week 4

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

After a rough start to the season, the Kentucky football team has found its groove with back-to-back victories over Mississippi State and Tennessee. The Wildcats began the year with elite numbers on numerous fronts – rushing offense, passing efficiency, and punting, just to name a few – but also had their fair share of serious struggles  – pass defense, pass rushing, and kicking – as well.

In their wins over MSU and UT, the script was flipped quite a bit, with UK’s defense putting forth superstar performances across the board and the offense needing to pick up the pace a bit.

How do the Wildcats stack up with the rest of the college football world from a numbers standpoint? KSR has gathered all of the best and worst statistics in the three major categories: offense, defense and special teams.

Let’s take a look:

The Positives (Offense)

After taking a tumble in most statistical categories after the Mississippi State win, the Wildcat offense slowly crawled up the board on several fronts, notably on 3rd down conversions, time of possession, rushing yards, and completion percentage.

  • No. 12 in fewest penalties with 16, including No. 19 in total penalty yards at 156 (Last week: No. 17 with 15, No. 27 in total penalty yards at 146)
  • Tied for No. 13 in the nation in 3rd down conversions with 28 on 56 total attempts, good for 50 percent (Last week: No. 16, 50 percent)
  • Tied for No. 16 in time of possession, averaging 32 minutes per game (Last week: No. 22, 32 minutes per game)
  • No. 17 in rushing yards per game with 206.0, good for first in the SEC (Last week: No. 19, 212.3 rushing yards per game) Ole Miss is the next closest at No. 18 in the nation with 204.8 yards per game.
  • No. 25 in completion percentage at 63.4 percent, No. 6 in the SEC (Last week: No. 48 at 59.7 percent, No. 13 in the SEC)
  • Tied for No. 34 in tackles for loss allowed with 5.50 per game (Last week: Tied for No. 36 in tackles for loss allowed with 5.67 per game)
  • Tied for No. 35 in the nation with eight sacks allowed and two per game, good for fifth in the SEC (Last week: Tied for No. 36 with six sacks allowed, tied for sixth in the SEC.

The Negatives (Offense)

As a whole, the UK offense sits in the bottom half of college football in passing, red zone efficiency, and 4th down conversions, among other categories.

  • Tied for No. 48 in scoring offense at 28.0 points per game. Only seven teams have scored fewer points in the SEC (Last week: Tied for No. 56 at 26.0 points per game)
  • Tied for No. 50 in red zone offense with a 80.0 percent conversion rate (Last week: No. 62 with a 72.7 percent conversion rate)
  • No. 53 in passing efficiency at 123.42 (Last week: No. 63, 116.22)
  • No. 54 in the nation in total first downs with 75 overall, including 40 rushing first downs, 31 passing first downs, and four first downs from penalties (Last week: No. 60 with 57 first downs)
  • No. 62 in the nation with 348.5 total yards per game, No. 11 in the SEC (Last week: No. 56, 366.7 yards per contest, No. 9 in the SEC)
  • Tied for No. 67 in the nation in fumbles lost with five in four games (Last week: Tied for No. 66 with four lost in three games)
  • No. 69 in the country in passing offense with 142.5 yards per game, good for dead last in the SEC. Also No. 71 overall in yards per completion with 9.66 (Last week: No. 67 in the country with 154.3 yards per game and No. 66 overall in yards per completion with 10.07)
  • Tied for last in 4th down conversions with zero on four attempts, one of four teams without a conversion (Last week: Tied for last with zero on two attempts)

The Positives (Defense)

After a long list of jumps last week, the Kentucky defensive numbers are among the best of college football heading into Week 5. Prior to the Missouri matchup, UK now sits in the top ten of five major defensive categories, including 11 in the top 25.

  • Tied for No. 1 in the nation with three defensive touchdowns (Last week: tied for No. 8 in the nation with one)
  • No. 2 in interceptions with nine, good for No. 2 in the SEC (Last week: tied for No. 4 in the nation with six, No. 1 in the SEC)
  • No. 3 in red zone defense, allowing a 60.0 percent conversion rate on 15 total attempts, with nine scores being for touchdowns. (Last week: No. 5, 61.5 percent allowed conversion rate)
  • No. 4 in passing yards allowed per completion at 9.40 (Last week: No. 5)
  • Tied for No. 9 in turnover margin at + 4, tied for No. 3 in the SEC (Last week: Tied for No. 28 at +1, tied for No. 6 in the SEC)
  • Tied for No. 15 in scoring defense, giving up 20.00 points per game, good for No. 2 in the SEC (Last week: No. 24, 24.30 points allowed per game, good for No. 3 in the SEC)
  • No. 16 in defensive passing efficiency at 121.09 (Last week: No. 34 at 131.47)
  • No. 18 in  the nation in rushing defense, allowing 106.3 yards per game. That’s good for No. 4 in the SEC (Last week: No. 8 in the nation, allowing 83.3 yards per contest. No. 2 in the SEC)
  • Tied for No. 18 in 3rd down defense, allowing opponents to convert on 31.4 percent of attempts (Last week: Tied for No. 21, 33.3 percent allowed)
  • No. 19 in total defense, allowing an average of 341.3 yards per contest, good for No. 3 in the SEC (Last week: No. 23 in the nation, allowing an average of 359.3 YPG. No. 4 in the SEC)
  • Tied for No. 21 in the nation on 4th down defense with a 44.4 percent conversion rate (Last week: Tied for No. 9, 33.3 percent conversion rate)
  • Tied for No. 29 in the nation with 78 first downs given up to the opposition, including 46 through the air, 24 on the ground, and eight on penalties (Last week: Tied for No. 25 with 60 first downs given up)
  • No. 34 in total passing yards allowed at 235.0 per game with 940 total, including seven touchdowns (Last week: No. 57, 276.0 passing yards allowed per game)

The Negatives (Defense)

With the list of positives getting longer, the list of negatives continues to get significantly shorter. In fact, there are only three negatives through four weeks.

  • Tied for No. 51 with 1.75 sacks per contest (Last week: Tied for No. 49 with 1.67 sacks per game)
  • Tied for No. 59 in the nation in tackles for loss at 5.0 per game in four outings (Last week: Tied for No. 53, 5.0 TFL per game)
  • Tied for No. 60 with one fumble recovered (Last week: tied for dead last with zero fumbles recovered)

The Positives (Special Teams)

After dropping from No. 1 to No. 11 last week, Max Duffy is back up to No. 6 in net punting, along with several other improvements on special teams.

  • No. 6 in net punting at 44.33 yards per punt (Last week: No. 11 in the nation, 43.87 net yards per punt)
  • No. 23 in punt return average at 11.50 yards per return (Last week: No. 23, 11.50 yards per return)
  • Tied for No. 27 in field goal conversions with 75 percent, 3/4 overall (Last week: Tied for No. 46 in the nation, with one make, 50 percent conversion rate)
  • No. 34 in kickoff returns, averaging 21.25 yards per return (Last week: No. 34, 21.25 yards per return)
  • Tied for No. 36 in punt return defense at 8.00 yards per return (Last week: Tied for No. 46, 8.60 yards per return)

The Negatives (Special Teams)

Like the defense, the list of negatives on special teams has dropped, with just two remaining. Even still, the team’s two negatives improved from last week.

  • Tied for No. 41 in made extra point attempts with 13, 13/14 on the year (Last week: Tied for No. 51 with nine, 9/10 on the year)
  • No. 67 in kickoff return defense, allowing 26.29 yards per return (Last week: No. 69 in the nation, allowing 28.25 yards per return)

With dominant back-to-back victories over Mississippi State and Tennessee, the numbers are quickly shifting in Kentucky’s favor, specifically on defense and special teams.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

2 Comments for Breaking down Kentucky football’s team stats through Week 4



  1. BigBlueFoo42777
    4:17 pm October 21, 2020 Permalink

    Thanks. Very informative.



  2. Southky
    4:25 pm October 21, 2020 Permalink

    For the last 3 years or so this team was a decent passing game away from something VERY special.